Malik Bendjelloul, the Oscar-winning director of Searching for Sugar Man, was found dead in his Stockholm home on Tuesday. He was 36.

Malik Bendjelloul Dies

Police confirmed Bendjelloul’s death and that no foul play was suspected, but declined to reveal the cause. Bendjelloul’s brother Johar Bendjelloul, however, has stated that the director suffered from depression and had committed suicide.

Bendjelloul was best known for Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary about Sixto Rodriguez, a bluesy folk singer from Detroit who had found a cult following in South Africa after vanishing from the music scene in the 70s. Bendjelloul found the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film during his extensive travels.

"I was traveling around the world for six months in 2006, looking for good stories… and in Cape Town I met Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, the detective of the story," Bendjellouol said in an April 2013 interview. "The detective who found this guy who was supposedly dead for 35 years.. .and then he found out that Rodriguez was alive. I immediately thought, this was the best story I'd heard in my life!"

Prior to launching a career as a documentary filmmaker, Bendjelloul worked as a child actor in the early 90s. He had a recurring role in the Swedish TV series Ebba and Didrik. He went on to study journalism at the University of Kalmar. After making a few short TV documentaries for a Swedish TV station, Bendjelloul went in search of his own story to tell, which led to Searching for Sugar Man and his worldwide success.

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